Phil Falcone’s Harbinger Capital has really had a time of things lately. The hedge fund owns a significant stake in a company called LightSquared. The idea behind the company is to develop a nationwide 4g system. In other words, faster mobile communications and Internet for anyone on the network, no dropped calls and data access everywhere in the continental U.S. The problem is that LightSquared is being met with a lot of criticism in Washington.
Phil Falcone’s LightSquared is Being Met with Opposition
Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has questioned whether Falcone made “donations to Democrats smoothed the regulatory way for the company,” reports FINAlternatives. Falcone has been asked to testify on his investment in LightSquared and asked to produce documents detailing his firm’s communications with Obama administration officials over Light Squared, by both the U.S. Judiciary Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee (InsiderMonkey). These issues have prompted Falcone to up his spending on lobbyists. At last count, Falcone has nine lobbyist firms working his LightSquared cause and has spent more than $1.6 million in lobbying fees in the first ten months of the year (InsiderMonkey). Now, it seems Falcone faces yet another opposition.
Senator Pat Roberts Weighs In Against LightSquared
“Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has introduced a bill that would take the matter out of the Federal Communications Commission’s hands,” reports FINAlternatives. “Roberts’ bill would bar the FCC from giving LightSquared the necessary approvals until it has shown that its services won’t interfere with global positioning systems. GPS users have warned that LightSquared could cause significant problems to all manner of precision GPS devices.” Senator Roberts explained, “There is too much at stake in interfering with a tool we all use, and on which our public safety and national security depend so heavily,” while LightSquared calls the proposed measure “unnecessary and redundant.”